It’s Friday, and I plan to spend the weekend blasting the new Kesha with my sunroof open.
Hello from Los Angeles, where we’re side-eyeing Michael Moore’s Broadway debut, celebrating Bill Hader’s take on the Mooch, and putting icing on all the Great British Bake Off drama.
TRUMPED ON BROADWAY
Theoretically, our era of political anxiety could breed excellent theater. But Michael Moore’s Broadway debut, The Terms of My Surrender, is . . . not that. At least according to the critics. The documentarian’s one-man show, which opened on Thursday at the Belasco and runs through October 22, is “a bit like being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle. Gotta love him—but maybe let’s turn on the television,” writes Jesse Green of The New York Times. As The Guardian’s Jake Nevins points out, Moore’s show is one of the first artistic products to emerge from the Trump era, but its “overt references to the president seem designed for an easy laugh rather than striking an emotional chord.” In the show, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), Moore traces his history as a provocateur back to its origins, when he railed against a racist local Elks Club in Michigan at age 17. It’s a classic, Moore-ian, little-guy-takes-on-corrupt-institution tale—but, as The Washington Post’s Peter Marks writes, “Moore commits the fatal error of a premise in which now, he’s become the big guy.” Sounds like theatergoers looking for some political catharsis may want to just save their money for another performance of Hamilton.
VF.com’s Katey Rich e-mails:
Five years after her last album, and three years after beginning a protracted legal battle against producer “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, whom she accused of sexual and emotional abuse, Kesha—formerly known as Ke$ha—is back with a new album, Rainbow. As VF.com’s Hilary Weaver writes, it’s not just her personal response to the past few years of turmoil, but an album full of perfectly defiant anthems for nasty women everywhere. “This is Kesha’s story, but it’s also the response that any woman in the Trump era of ‘locker-room talk’ might want to blast in her car on a particularly frustrating day.”
WEEKEND UPDATE . . . ON A THURSDAY
VF.com’s Laura Bradley e-mails:
It just became a lot easier to start your weekend on a Thursday. This week marked the debut of Saturday Night Live’s latest primetime edition of its standby satirical newscast, “Weekend Update.” On Thursday night, Michael Che and Colin Jost took their seats behind the “Update” desk—summer hiatus be damned—to riff on the week’s headlines. The highlights, however, were actually some of the guest appearances—namely Bill Hader, who showed up to impersonate Anthony Scaramucci, and Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, who paired up to mimic the eldest Trump sons, Eric and Donald Jr. Given how crowded the late-night playing field has gotten, most of the material felt a little worn in—and yet there’s still something singularly delightful about watching Hader throw himself into another manic persona. When asked if “the Mooch” had any regrets about his brief tenure at the White House, his answer was about what you’d expect: “All I did was sell my company, miss the birth of my child, and ruin my entire reputation. All to be king of idiot mountain for 11 days.”
50 YEARS OF BONNIE AND CLYDE
VF.com’s Yohana Desta e-mails:
In just two days, the seminal 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde will celebrate its 50th anniversary. In the years since its release, the movie has become an American classic, an iconic work of art that raised the bar on film violence and marked a new period in Hollywood creativity. However, it was more divisive at the time with critics, many of whom handily dismissed the film as “cheap,” “purposeless,” “brutal,” and “moronic.” I took a look back at some of those deeply negative reviews to see just how far the film’s legacy has come, and to marvel at the remarkably prescient reviews from critics like Roger Ebert and Pauline Kael. Those writers saw greatness where others saw a hideous waste of talent, with Ebert calling Bonnie “a milestone in the history of American movies.”
OUR DAILY BREAD
VF.com’s Hillary Busis e-mails:
The Great British Bake Off is dead; long live The Great British Bake Off! Days after the last episode of the beloved reality competition aired in the States, Liam Stack is taking a look at the future of the franchise in The New York Times. The short version? It’s complicated. The long version? Thanks to disputes about the show’s financially motivated move from the BBC to Channel 4 in the U.K., its next season will feature an almost entirely new cast of judges and hosts—some of whom may strike Bake Off die-hards as head-scratching choices. (The new answer to Mary “Sheer Perfection” Berry, for example, is another British celebrity chef, Prue Leith—an outspoken healthy-eating advocate. She plans to dismiss subpar baked goods with this catchphrase: “It’s not worth the calories.”) Americans will have to withhold judgment until they can actually watch the show, which may be later rather than sooner; though the premiere is “coming soon” across the pond, PBS apparently has no plans to air it in the U.S.
That’s the news for this sweaty Friday in L.A. What are you seeing out there? Send tips, comments, and Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie and Clyde beret to Rebecca_keegan@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @thatrebecca.
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